This post is for all the crazy travelers like me that had an angel looking after them at some stage of their journey!
“You don’t always need a plan. Sometimes you just need to breathe, trust, let go and see what happens.” – Mandy Hale
Mandy Hale will hit me with a pillow if she would listen to my story that I am going to tell you guys.
A lot of things went wrong with my first backpacking job in Australia.
- For the first days my boss left me by myself in a room of the homestead stay, and I was not able to contact him to find out what the hell was going on!!
- No phone signal to contact my parents
- I had no clear idea about about my job!
- I was an underpaid waitress/housekeeper
- My boss was really rude and racist against us backpackers!
- No focus towards safety whatsoever …
I could continue with this list but I think this might be another story.
(Photo- my work colleagues and I – we had found some left over cake in a room that we serviced that day and it felt like Christmas for us! If you have not much, you would appreciate those little things in life a lot!)
Escape from “Paradise”
I escaped out of this place (literally!!). I had to make my way to Katherine (Northern Territory).I just wanted to catch the next bus to my new destination, Broome (Western Australia). I was ready to go! I made a promised to myself that no boss will ever treat me like this again!
On the road…
I am walking along the country road with my heavy backpack; around me – nothing. In the middle of nowhere, I am surrounded by red dust on a small road. My plan was to hitchhike form Mataranka to Katherine so later on I can catch the Greyhound bus that drives to Broome.
Only after a couple of minuets, a car stopped next to me and I looked into two familiar faces. My guests from the last night (that I served as a waitress at the homestead I was working for)
I felt so lucky! I was offered a lift to Katherine. (Payback of good costumer service I suppose!).
I jumped in. The one guy is a comedian from Melbourne, so you can imagine that this drive was
entertaining! I don’t know much about the other 2 guys. We did not exchange any contacts but they helped me out with a lift to the next town.
(Photo- me in my Mataranka waitress outfit!)
If you ever see a backpacker on the street trying to hitchhike do not assume it is just to save money … some of us could be just in a pretty bad situation as well. Help each other out – this is what I learned out of this story (but wait, this is not the end yet!).
Welcome to Katherine!
When I arrived in Katherine, it was close to shop shut. I hurried to the next travel agency to book my bus ticket. The lady with short brown hair and glasses felt so sorry for me when she told me that the next bus was not going to leave until the next morning. I had no other options – I booked my bus ticket for the next morning.
I officially had to stay over the night in this town but this is not the cherry on the cupcake yet! – I could not manage to find a room to stay over the night!
The drunken man I was running away from!
Not having a place to stay, I was wandering around on the street; a lot of drunken locals where hanging around there. It was not a safe place at all and I was scared. When I went to the supermarket to get some water, a drunken guy stopped me and said he wanted me to go and get him some beer,.. “If you don’t, I’ll find ya!” he said.
Oh my god! … in this moment I thought I am such an idiot. I didn’t even know the number to call the police in case of emergency. (Don’t worry – I learned my lesson!)
I told him I will. When I went in the supermarket – I took the second exit at the back and got the hell out of there.
No where seemed to be a safe place for me. I spotted a 24/7 McDonald’s – you can say what you want but my plan was made.
- My Master plan:
I will stay at McDonald’s for a bit – get something to eat – keep staying – get something tiny again – and stay awake the night till my bus will come in the morning. Yes … if you are in a situation like this you will end up with a master plan like this.
Before I was going to have my “stay over” in McDonald’s – I walked down the street and sat down near the post office to call my mother. I mean who knows it could be the last time that I might have been able to.
(Yes this was seriously what went through my mind at this stage)
When I was calling my mum back home to tell her what was going on, (almost in tears) a car that drove by suddenly stopped next to me. My heart skipped a beat and I was prepared for the worst case scenario.
Is this my boss that want to teach me a lesson or the creepy drunken guy from the supermarket that was going to pay me back now? I was getting myself ready for everything but the unexpected happened.
A lovely lady came out of the car and was asking me what I am doing out here all by myself. I told her my story and that I could not find a place to stay over the night. The lady – Dianne, thought my plan was terrible and offered me straight away to stay with her at her house.
I did not know what to say at first. After all the bad things that happened it seemed so surreal. She said she will pick me up once she went to her family dinner. I agreed and later on she came like promised to pick me up. I could not believe it!
I hadn’t felt so cared for for a long time. I didn’t have anything to offer in return. She didn’t ask me for anything either. When I think back today, Dianne saved my life with her random act of kindness because who knows what could have happen in that night.
She cared like a mother for me at her house without knowing much about me.
I got my room with a fluffy blankets that felt like heaven for me after my horror stay in Mataranka, a hot shower, a cup of tea and a long night of talking about life and watching a black and white movies. I got to rest after this and found finally some time to digest everything that had happened to me during the past weeks.
A new morning full of opportunities
The next morning everything looked so different. All the bad things were gone and everything seemed possible again. Dianne made some breakfast for us before she dropped me of at the greyhound bus station.
My role model
Today, Dianne has become for me a role model. She saw something she thought isn’t right and took action without hesitation. She told me later on that also her family told her during the dinner, just before she was going to pick me up, that it is a crazy idea. To pick up a stranger from a street and take them in your home.
But she took step for the thing she thought was the right to do and I will own her a favour for life time. I cannot thank her enough for this and hope that we are going to see us soon again!
And for all the crazy girls out there I hope you will all meet a special person that is going to help you out when you need it the most.
Please feel free to share with us your stories in the comment section below about how someone helped you out in a bad situation while you were traveling.
“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.” – by Martin Luther King.
Nevertheless … be brave, get out there and be as free as lost … (In a safe way 🙂 )